Who Is Harry Styles Singing About? An Investigation

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As it turns out, Harry Styles is a veritable rock star. The One Directioner's self-titled solo album, which dropped May 12, raises many important questions. With this pastiche of '70s-inspired rock, is Styles trying to become Pink Floyd or The Rolling Stones? What does it say about me that I’m crazy about every track? Most importantly, who is Styles singing about in each of these songs?
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Styles described his first solo album as a dedication to an ex-girlfriend. Styles is “tipping a hat to [their] time together.” Continuing the metaphor, he said, "Sometimes you want to tip the hat, and sometimes you just want to give them the whole cap...and hope they know it's just for them.” With this insight, Styles effectively gives us permission to read as deeply into his lyrics as we'd like.
Here’s our track-by-track analysis of Harry Styles' love songs.
1 of 11
The Song: “Meet Me in the Hallway”

The Proof: “Just let me know I'll be at the door, at the door / Hoping you'll come around / Just let me know I'll be on the floor, on the floor / Maybe we'll work it out / I gotta get better, gotta get better”

Our Best Guess: Harry’s his own worst enemy in “Meet Me in the Hallway.” He recognizes that his behavior is detrimental to his relationship, but struggles to stop. Hanging around outside the woman's bedroom, it's clear he can't quit the relationship, either. Given the drawn-out, on-and-off nature of their relationship, we’re betting Styles is singing about Kendall Jenner in this song.

For further proof of Jenner's presence on the album, you'll have to continue to the "Only Angel" track.

Is It About Taylor Swift? No.
2 of 11
The Song: "Sign of the Times"

The Proof: "We never learn, we've been here before / Why are we always stuck and running from / The bullets, the bullets?

Our Best Guess: This isn’t about a romantic relationship; it’s about the state of the world. As It turns out, current events are getting to Styles, too.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Styles said, "Most of the stuff that hurts me about what's going on at the moment is not politics, it's fundamentals...Equal rights. For everyone, all races, sexes, everything." Later on, he told NME that the song was "inspired by the state of the world," and movements like Brexit and Black Lives Matter.

Styles gave us a useful way of reading "Sign of the Times" in the Rolling Stone interview, saying, “The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there's a complication. The mother is told, 'The child is fine, but you're not going to make it.' The mother has five minutes to tell the child, 'Go forth and conquer.'"

Is It About Taylor Swift? No! Styles has are bigger things to worry about, people.
3 of 11
The Song: “Carolina”

The Proof: "It's hard to understand the way I'm living / And I know you think I'm never coming home / But I miss your pretty smile, and I'm coming back in a little while"

Our Best Guess: With its litany of personality traits and biographical details, “Carolina” is clearly about someone. But who’s the mystery girl? In the “Behind the Album” documentary, Styles comes clean about the subject of the song “Carolina.” It’s dedicated to a girl he met on a wild night out, whose name is — you guessed it — Carolina. Styles said, “To have been part of a moment that means something to someone enough to write a song is a huge compliment.”

Later on, Styles' Carolina found out the song was about her. In an interview with BBC 1, Styles said, “Her dad watched the Today show and he left her a voice-mail saying, ‘Uh, I think he just sang a song about you on the TV.” We are sort of jealous.

Is It About Taylor Swift? Nope, it's about one very lucky fan.
4 of 11
The Song: “Two Ghosts”

The Proof: “Same lips red, same eyes blue/ Same white shirt, couple more tattoos / But it's not you, and it's not me”

Our Best Guess: Ding ding ding! Here is the Taylor Swift relationship song you’ve been waiting for. First, let's look at lyrical parallels. In Swift’s song “Style,” which details her relationship with Styles, she sings, “I got that red lip classic thing that you like." In “Two Ghosts,” Styles sings about being with someone who has “same lips red, same eyes blue." The physical description is spot-on.

Swift wrote two (if not more) tracks about Styles on her album 1989. While Swift wrote, Styles simmered. When speaking to Ash London, Styles said that he’s been holding on to “Two Ghosts” for a while: “I kind of subconsciously held on to it. It lived in my emails, and now it is born."

Is It About Taylor Swift? Yes, and Styles pretty much admitted it.
5 of 11
Here's further proof.

BBC1 asked Styles whether "Two Ghosts" was about Taylor Swift, and his discomfort gave his answer away.
6 of 11
The Song: “Sweet Creature”

The Proof: “We're running through the garden / Where nothing bothered us / But we're still young / I always think about you and how we don't speak enough.”

Our Best Guess: In an interview with 102.5 FM’s The Zach Sang and the Gang Show, Styles revealed that “Sweet Creature” was the first track he wrote for the album. Styles also admitted, “'Sweet Creature' is definitely about one person.” So, who's the one person?

With lyrics describing a childhood idyll, some fans guess that "Sweet Creature" is dedicated to Styles’ middle school sweetheart, Abigail Crawshaw. Of course, with vague lyrics about a struggling relationship, the song could be about anyone Styles has dated.

Is It About Taylor Swift? The sweet, tender song lacks any vitriol or pangs of regret. We doubt it's about Swift.
7 of 11
“Couldn't take you home to mother in a skirt that short / But I think that's what I like about it,”
The Song: “Only Angel”

The Proof: "Told it to her brother and she told it to me / That she's gonna be an angel, just you wait and see / When it turns out she's a devil in between the sheets"

Our Best Guess: Our Kendall Jenner senses are tingling.

First, there's the obvious: Jenner walked in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 2016 as an angel. Then, the song mentions Styles meeting the woman's mother and brother. Styles sings, "Couldn't take you home to mother in a skirt that short / But I think that's what I like about it.” These references could be a coincidence — don't get me wrong, a lot of people have mothers and brothers. But given Jenner's insanely famous one, it's probable Styles met her family.

Lastly, here's further, conspiracy-level proof that the person in "Only Angel" is the same person Styles sings about in "Meet Me in the Hallway." In "Only Angel," Styles says he can't resist the girl: "End up meeting in the hallway every single time / and there's nothing we can do about it." In the song "Meet Me in the Hallway," he's literally begging for her to meet him in the proverbial hallway.

Both tracks have a similar theme of caving to sexual tension in hallways.

Is It About Taylor Swift? Nope.
8 of 11
The Song: “Kiwi”

The Proof: "It’s getting crazy, I think I’m losing it, I think I’m losing it / I think she said ‘I’m having your baby, it’s none of your business'"

Our Best Guess: Before we start spewing pregnancy rumors, maybe we shouldn’t read too deeply into this cryptic, manic track. Of the song, Styles said, “This kind of started out as a joke and now it’s one of my favorites.” The tune might just be a meditation on tabloids and fame.

In another theory, Styles could be singing about Georgia Fowler, a New Zealander model he allegedly dated in 2015.

Is It About Taylor Swift? Taylor's no Kiwi.
9 of 11
The Song: “Ever Since New York”

The Proof: “I've been praying, I never did before / Understand I'm talking to the walls / And I've been praying ever since New York”

Our Best Guess: We’re thinking this aching, rock ballad might be about Taylor Swift — and not only because she wrote a song called “Welcome to New York." The lyrics align to the relationship’s history: Swift and Styles’ first public date was December 2012 at the Central Park Zoo.

That said, with lyrics as vague as “Ever Since New York,” the song also could be about Kendall Jenner. Styles was seen with Jenner in New York in 2013. Really, "Ever Since New York" could be about anyone.

Is It About Taylor Swift? Signs point to maybe.
10 of 11
The Song: “Woman”

The Proof: "Woman (La La La La La) / W-Woman / Woman / Woman"

Our Best Guess: Styles literally sings "woman" over and over again. This is as generic a dedication as they come. In fact, given their sonic resemblance, our best guess is that "Woman" is actually about “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John.

Is It About Taylor Swift? It's about an anonymous woman. Why not just make it about you?
11 of 11
The Song: “From the Dining Table”

The Proof: “Woke up alone in this hotel room / Played with myself, where were you? / Fell back to sleep, I got drunk by noon / I've never felt less cool”

Our Best Guess: Though the woman's identity is kept mum, Styles’ psyche is on full display in "From the Dining Table." Styles said, “'From the Dining Table' is the most honest song on the album, I don’t think I’ve ever written something like that. It came at a time when any barrier of editing myself had been stripped away."

In the song, Styles finds out the ex he's been missing is doing just fine without him. And in this raw, honest state, Styles is frankly more interesting than whomever he's singing about.

Is It About Taylor Swift? Eh, who cares?